5 Moves the Toronto Raptors should make but probably won't

Kelly Olynyk, Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors
Kelly Olynyk, Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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No. 2: Act aggressively with Bruce Brown

The Toronto Raptors had a vision in mind when they traded for Bruce Brown as a part of the Pascal Siakam deal. A key "glue guy" coming off of a championship with the Denver Nuggets would surely be valued by other teams, and Toronto could pivot and trade him at the deadline to the highest bidder.

The deadline was quieter than expected, however, and given the high price tag on Brown's contract (and without knowing the asking price from the Raptors) they were not able to work out a trade. Now they approach a decision-point with Brown: by June 28th, the Raptors need to decide whether they will exercise Brown's $23 million team option, or if they will let him become an unrestricted free agent.

The Raptors need to be canvassing the trade market right now to find a trade partner for Brown. $23 million is a lot of money to match in a trade, but even good teams have opportunities to move money, and there may be one or more teams who covet Brown's services and have the money to match his salary.

If Toronto doesn't have a trade lined up, however, they need to decline the team option and let Brown walk in free agency. If they keep him on the books heading into the season it neutralizes their cap space. That is worth it for the right trade, but it would be a waste of their money and space to carry him all year at $23 million given his difficult fit with their roster and the other uses to which they can put that money. Holding onto him and "hoping" a deal materializes by the deadline is too risky, given what happened last year and how much money Brown makes.

Look for a trade. If one isn't there, let him walk.